Winter Home Roof Sloped for Snow Like an Avalanche Shed


Set near the snow-prone Sugar Bowl ski resort near Lake Tahoe, this house has to content with snow loads that come with nearly ten feet of pack at a time.

The resulting design is definitely modern, but it recalls railroad avalanche sheds of times passed with a roof tilt designed to shed excessive weight after heavy snows (depositing excess, in this case, behind the home so as not to endanger people entering or exiting or block key doors).

The entire residence is raised up on a concrete plinth to keep it accessible even during deep-snowing winters. The cedar-enclosed first story is wrapped in bright warm wood, enclosing entry, boot, guest and children’s rooms as well as support spaces.

Lower-level windows frame lovely landscape views like pictures, while the second story (containing master bedroom and living room areas) provides all-around lookouts toward the surrounding forest and mountains and features additional woods including walnut and fir.

Not quite minimalist nor really rustic, crisp engineered lines and clean architectural details are found throughout, contrasting nicely with the organic landscapes that stand out on all sides. Design by John Maniscalco Architecture and photography by Matthew Millman.

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